Early in the summer I added That Kind of Mother to my library hold because I had heard mention of the title on a podcast, that is now slipping my mind. I had no idea the premise other than that the guest of the podcast related to the story. She was a mother and so am I so I should relate to the story too. Right?
At first I did relate. The book opens with a very realistic telling of child-birth. The pain and the feeling that you can’t go on that ends in a love you didn’t know you could posses. But that is where I stopped relating. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the story though.
The main character, Rebecca, first time mom is overwhelmed. She finds solace and friendship in a lactation consultant, Priscilla. Rebecca asks Priscilla to come work for her as her son’s nanny, but she didn’t expect to find friendship, sisterhood and a lifetime of lessons from Priscilla. When Priscilla died unexpectedly during childbirth, Rebecca step forward to raise Priscilla’s son. This seemed like a good idea except there was one major difference between Priscilla and Rebecca, one was black and the other white. Through this friendship and eventual family dynamic Rebecca was introduced to a world she didn’t know she was unaware of. She was not prepared to face her own privileged and what kind of person that made her or how her choices were made based on that priviledge.
As I read the story of Rebecca and Priscilla and later Rebecca and Priscilla’s grown daughter, I was faced to pick a side as we always are when reading about relationships and forced to face where I place myself in a world this story explores. The difference between a life we seek out and a life we stumble into.
Rummaan Alam did a fantastic job with the writing. She tied in the psychology of motherhood, relationships and becoming self-aware. I gave 3 stars on Goodreads. I felt the end was rushed and a bit unresolved but overall a great read.